The Lord’s Prayer is so familiar to us and standing in church on Sunday mornings saying it week after week I admit that at times I can forget to really pay attention to the words.…can forget to actually pray. During this time of Lent I’ve been trying to be more attentive to prayer in general, and specifically to the Lord’s Prayer.
As I’ve been meditating on it, and saying it daily I’ve noticed how closely related the line: “give us this day our daily bread” is to the line just before it: “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” I’ve been turning over in my mind how Jesus is asking us to pray both for our daily bread and that God’s will be done. I’ve been asking myself if I truly am willing to yield my will to God’s will. If I truly trust God for my daily bread, those things I need body & soul every single day. Hum….must say some interesting soul searching has ensued!
Most likely I’m not the only one who has noticed that what we believe we need and what God decides to provide sometimes seem like two different things. As I’ve been doing my own personal inventory I’ve at the same time thought of my friends who are going through truly difficult times, hard news they have received from a doctor, terrible things that have happened in their families. I asked them about how their circumstances affect their ability to pray, to believe that God has answered their prayers, how they see God providing their daily bread. In each situation the answer they gave was in effect that sometimes the bread they got wasn’t the bread they thought they needed, or asked for, but that what they were given turned out to be Jesus himself, the “bread of life.” They tell me that Jesus’ presence far exceeds any other bread that may have been provided. Their answer humbles me as I turn the words of this prayer over in my mind, as I try to yield my will to God’s, to receive with gratitude what I am given, and to find that Jesus is indeed in every gift.
To pray for our daily bread also reminds me that we live in a world where hunger and pain are grim realities. It calls me to remember that we are not praying in the singular but in the plural; that we are standing alongside our brothers and sisters who are in desperate need of their daily bread, that we stand with them in prayer, and in working toward supplying them with their needs as well.
My final thought is that praying for our daily needs is a bold act of choosing not to worry about tomorrow and its needs, but instead to choose to live within the boundaries of sunrise and sunset trusting God for what we need today.
As we continue on our Lenten journey may the words of this prayer draw us closer to Jesus, closer to seeing him for who he truly is: our loving, compassionate, giving God and Savior.
Post by Wendy Taylor